Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Don't Let Anyone Tell You

that Muscovites are cold, heartless people.

Au contraire, mon frère.

Today, I had two strangers be nice to me.

First, Baboo's glasses came apart. The screw came out of one side, and the arm/ear piece fell off. She had the arm and the screw. But it was so tiny, I couldn't get it back in with my giant, freak fingers.

The nearest eyeglass shop I know of has moved to parts unknown. So I tried the Posh Mall near us. Just inside the door is a kiosk with fancy designer sunglasses and eyeglass frames. I showed the clerk my dilemma, but she shook her head and said something about me needing a meister. She also went on about the nearest shop she could think of at some metro stop I've never heard of. Which means Too Damn Far for Me.

I thank her, and we wander farther down the mall. On our way back, she is on the phone and gesturing at us to come over.

"Tomorrow," she says to me in Russian. "Maybe something like 50 rubles. But if you can wait until tomorrow . . ."

I think she meant come back tomorrow. But she means pick it up tomorrow.

I reach into my purse for my card. It has my name and local phone number. She thinks I'm going for money. "No, don't pay until tomorrow," she tells me.

That was nice. And all above and beyond the call of duty.

Then, I was expecting The Spouse's suit to be delivered today after 4:00. I am to pony up the balance due, and some woman will hand me his suit and shirt. Around 5:00 the buzzer goes: I let her in. It is a woman about my age with a large purse.

I'm not convinced she can fit a suit in there, but what do I know?

"I'm supposed to collect money . . ." she says in Russian.

"And I'm supposed to get a suit," I say in English.

Cue the simultaneous whipping out of cell phones.

"Don't hand her any money without a suit," The Spouse tells me.

"Oh, dear," she tells me. "There's been a mix up."

Seems her English isn't half bad.

More phone conversations. We determine she will come back tomorrow, with a suit. I can keep my money until then.

"I'm sorry you had to make the trip for nothing," I tell her.

"Pul-eaz," she says. "I'm sorry we weren't able to bring you your suit."

Isn't that nice of her to say?

We decide she'll come back tomorrow between noon and 2:00.

Who knows: maybe I'll have a washing machine coming around that time, too.


valentina said...

Oh jeez I hope the blasted Combo arrives tomorrow! Yes it is great you had 2 polite and friendly interactions with Russians today BUT WHAT AMAZES ME IS THAT YOU COULD UNDERSTAND THESE TRANSACTIONS FOR THE MOST PART! Especially the first one ALL IN RUSSIAN!!

Think how much Russian you know now!!! How AMAZING!!
So immersion really does work and you haven't even had to continue the abysmal Russian lessons which were torturing you!!!

I am so proud of you! And tomorrow, hopefully, you will have a new Combo and it is springtime in Moscow and you are going to the circus and all will be right with your world!!

And as for me, I have finished my VERY LAST DAY OF CLASSES FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR!!


Now let's just keep our fingers and toes crossed about that Combo!!! xov

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